One of the things in Cornwall that you have to visit by law is the Eden Project. It's quite pricey to get in (notably more than the Lost Gardens of Heligan for instance) and dare I say that rankled a bit. It's reputation precedes it, so it had a lot to live up to. To be honest it fell a little short, but that might be because we'd been to Heligan just two days before which had set a high bar, and our expectation were a bit unrealistically set from all the media coverage that it gets.

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The two biomes are genuinely impressive and by far the best thing about the place. Set in an old quarry, they are sheltered from the elements and act as enormous greenhouses with the larger set housing a tropical climate and the other a cooler Mediterranean experience. It was a super-sunny day for March and the tropical biome was absolutely scorching. Sweat was dripping down every part of me. It was almost a chore, save for the extraordinary wealth of lush tropicana all around, including waterfalls, streams and millions of tiny ants. A member of staff told me that the ants and all the birdlife weren't really supposed to be there but there wasn't much they could do. I watched a robin catching a grasshopper, and another one eating a large cockroach! With those sorts of goods on offer I'm not surprised they wait to come through the sliding doors with the rest of the visitors.
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Above on the right is a picture of WEEE Man (if I recall correctly) – a huge sculpture made of the electrical waste that the average person throws away in a lifetime. Those teeth are computer mice.
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The Mediterranean biome was probably my favourite bit, as it was a pleasant place to be in absolutely every sense, though not quite as vast and absorbing as the tropics. One building is known as The Core and at the centre of it is a 75 tonne sculpture hewn from a single piece of rock – apparently the largest single stone ever quarried in the UK. It's an egg or pine-cone shaped sculpture with highly geometric qualities that represents a seed pod at the core of the whole endeavour. I kind of liked it, but the building it was in, full of educational stuff, didn't quite seem to gel.
Overall, if you're going to Cornwall you'd be mad not to visit the Eden project, but if it were much busier than it was in mid-March it might be a bit of a struggle. I think I'd recommend people go, but I'd even more strongly recommend they go to the Lost Gardens of Heligan nearby. More on that to come.

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